Optimism among local employers and business executives continues to be on the upswing.
The Executive Business Climate Index is generally accepted to be a reputable source of accurate business climate. Their data is pulled from 2 sources that conduct actual local surveys of business owners and executives.
Their findings indicated for the 2nd quarter of 2013, that our score on the survey placed Lee County at 71 on a 100 point scale. That’s up from 66% for the same 2nd quarter of 2012.
What does this mean?
1] Employers are more certain about switching part time employees to full time status. 2] Business owners are considering hiring more people due to the increased demand for their goods and services. 3] Several out-of-the-area firms are considering moving their business to Lee County or at least opening a branch operation here locally. 4] Small businesses are making plans for new equipment purchases, while others are looking for ways to modernize the equipment they have in service.
Several business surveys indicated a single theme that bears some watching. Electrical contractors, custom home builders, light manufacturing operations, automotive dealers, medical labs, all expressed concern in their returned surveys about finding skilled labor as the market continues to grow. 17 % also were concerned about the new health care costs coming in 2014.
Custom home builders fear that most of their skilled workers left the area when new construction went bust and left to help rebuild the south after hurricane Katrina. A large Cape Coral electrical contractor, echo’d the same thing, they are pushing work orders out to 10 days due to the lack of certified electricians. The local KIA dealer in Cape Coral who is selling 2000+ new autos a month, says they need to start a night shift to keep up with the service deopartments demands, but cant find Kia certified mechanics to staff the added shift.
I guess the way to look at this is……..its a good problem to have!! We have seen the alternative with record job losses and business failures in the 2007 – 2010 years.
One thing is for sure, that KIA dealer would not be pushing 2000+ new cars out the showroom each month if consumer confidence and the future of our local economy was poor, dismal or stagnent. The optimism is here, we just need to keep the momentum going.